In the bustling capital, Port of Spain, on Trinidad’s northwest coast, travelers will find some impressive examples of colonial and Renaissance-style architecture, as well as an eclectic cultural mix of Creoles, Africans, Amerindians, Europeans, and East Indians.
A hefty dose of cosmopolitan life in all its colorful shapes and forms is the reason to visit the Trinidadian capital Port of Spain. It’s a far more diverse city than most visitors expect: bazaars throng beneath modern skyscrapers and mosques rub shoulders with cathedrals.
The architecture of the city incorporates a mixture of styles from Victorian houses to Stollmeyer’s Castle, an imitation of a Bavarian Castle. Port of Spain is also, of course, home to the carnival for which the country is most renowned.
A paradise for birders, the Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge encompasses 1,500 acres of dense forest in the Arima and Aripo Valleys. Hummingbirds, Woodcreepers, Pygmy Owls, Trogons, and the rare nocturnal Oilbird are just some of the avian species spotted at this former cocoa, coffee, and citrus plantation.
Caroni Bird Sanctuary, just south of Port of Spain, will delight nature lovers. This series of mangrove-lined waterways is the nesting place of the Scarlet Ibis, the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.
Afternoon boat tours cruise the estuaries in search of these spectacular flame-colored birds asthey descend on the trees in large flocks. The area is rich in biodiversity and visitors may also spot many other species of wildlife such as herons, egrets, cormorants, tree boas, anteaters, and caimans. Fishing and photography tours are also available.
Aripo Caves, Trinidad’s most extensive cave system sits, appropriately perhaps, beneath its highest mountain, El Cerreo de Aripo. The stalactites and stalagmites here are sublime. Speleologists will also be intrigued by the Tamana Caves, boasting 11 species of bat, and, on the islet of Gaspar Grande, the subterranean treasure trove of Gasparee Caves.
Chaguaramas, comprising the entire peninsula which juts out to the west of Port of Spain, this is one of the best places in the country to try your hand at kayaking, with sheltered Williams Bay a great place to start.
Trinidad is lined with relaxing beaches and rainforest waterfalls. Nature watching is colorfully kaleidoscopic, with over 450 bird, 600 butterfly, and 700 orchid species.